Thursday, February 6, 2020

Sophia Rose Reviews: In the Dark by Loreth Anne White narrated by Susan Hanfield

Today on the blog Sophia Rose reviews the audio edition of an Agatha Christie-ish thriller, In The Dark.

In the Dark by Loreth Anne White narrated by Susan Hanfield
Mystery, Thriller
Publisher:  Brilliance Audio
Published:  12.1.19
Time:  14 hours 50 minutes
Rating: 4
Narrator Rating: 5
Format: MP3
Source:  Publisher
Sellers:  AmazonBarnes andNoble
ADD TO: GoodReads:

GoodReads Blurb:
A secluded mountain lodge. The perfect getaway. So remote no one will ever find you.

The promise of a luxury vacation at a secluded wilderness spa has brought together eight lucky guests. But nothing is what they were led to believe. As a fierce storm barrels down and all contact with the outside is cut off, the guests fear that it’s not a getaway. It’s a trap.

Each one has a secret. Each one has something to hide. And now, as darkness closes in, they all have something to fear—including one another.

Alerted to the vanished party of strangers, homicide cop Mason Deniaud and search and rescue expert Callie Sutton must brave the brutal elements of the mountains to find them. But even Mason and Callie have no idea how precious time is. Because the clock is ticking, and one by one, the guests of Forest Shadow Lodge are being hunted. For them, surviving becomes part of a diabolical game.

Sophia Rose's Review:

All I needed to know was that this was a tribute to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.  It's a retelling that takes the story into the wilderness of the Canadian Yukon and provides a chilling setting, atmosphere, and mystery with a twist that would make the Queen of Mystery proud.

I am a huge fan of Christie, but I'm always eager to discover authors with a similar flavor.  Even better when they more than tip their hats to Christie's most famous stories like the chilling And Then There Were None.  However, there is also the wariness of letting my expectations get too high or the hype not being accurate.  In this case, the author did a fab job of retelling Christie's story and capturing the essence of her story and style.

In the Dark offers a plethora of characters in the group headed out into the wilderness and it did take me a bit to sort them out since I struggle with large casts on audio.  That does not mean they were under-developed or too cookie cutter.  No, these characters were vibrant and distinct.  I had an easier time with the rescue party since they were fewer plus Mason and Callie seemed to be the main character focus.  Callie is a wilderness rescue worker par excellence with her own private pain of a husband not there and a precocious son struggling with her over his absence.  Mason was a big city homicide detective who never got over his wife and son's deaths and took the transfer to the backwoods thinking himself a has been and just waiting to die.  There is a whiff of a connection between Mason and Callie though this is not a romance.  I loved how each character in the book is fleshed out whether I ended up liking them or not.  I had sympathy for so many even if they had major flaws.

The situation is dire for the lost group and the atmosphere around them gave me the heebie jeebies in a thrilling way.  It is dark and gritty.  Slowly the reason why they are taken out there is revealed.  The tension was palpable.  I did see the truth and even anticipated the twist though not in its entirety.  That was all well done.  The last quarter is stretched out, but didn't try my patience long before it paid off.

The narrator, Susan Hanfield, was new to me, but she was amazing.  Full respect for the way she voiced so many characters and helped enhance the eerie tone of this book.

All in all, I was most impressed.  I got exactly what I was expecting and my anticipation was not dampened.  I want to pick up more by this author and narrator and I can heartily recommend this thriller.

My thanks to Brilliance Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

Author’s Bio:
Loreth Anne White is an award-winning, bestselling author of romantic suspense, thrillers, and mysteries.

A three-time RITA finalist, she has also won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Romantic Crown for Best Romantic Suspense and Best Book Overall, in addition to being a Booksellers’ Best finalist, a multiple Daphne Du Maurier Award finalist, and a multiple CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award winner.

A former journalist and newspaper editor who has worked in both South Africa and Canada, she now resides in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest with her family. When she’s not writing, you will find her skiing, biking, or hiking the trails with her Black Dog.

Visit her at

Sophia’s Bio:
Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.
Sophia’s Social Media Links:

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  1. That sounds really good. I love a good twist.

    1. Yes! It was one of those that gets you good because you feel like you have things all sorted- until you don't. LOL

  2. It's such a treat when you can find authors with a similar flavor/style, as one of your all time favorites, and you also got to discover an amazing new narrater!. I'm glad that In the Dark would have done Agatha Christie proud and you got an amazing twist, and all around read! Wonderful Review Sophia :)

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    1. It really is. I've read a few that were supposed to be a lot like Christie and I just didn't see it, but this one was a great tribute and a stellar story. :)

  3. Oh no! DO not go the luxury retreat! ;)

    1. Yeah, dangerous to accept a prize trip to a rustic luxury retreat.

  4. Sophia Rose I remember a while ago you reviewed The Woman on The Orient Express I loved your review so much I bought the audible of it and I'm listening to it right now. And this is yet another one that I'm tempted to get. Thanks Sophia Rose :)

    1. Woohoo! I'm so glad you loved it, too. I'm so excited when I can point you toward a good one, Debbie. Oh yes, this one is good, but it will give you the heebie jeebies at times. :)

  5. Sounds like this really worked Sophia Rose. The setting sounds amazing and good that the mystery really worked out and that Christie would be proud of it. I struggle too with lots of characters on audio, it does make it a little more challenging.

    1. Yes, Loreth caught the tone of And Then There Were None and put her own twist on it.
      I like listening to audios, but there are times when I still do better with print though I did eventually get all the characters sorted in my own mind- helped when they kept getting killed off. LOL

  6. The summary reminds me just a little bit of In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware.

    1. Really... I've heard that one is a stellar spooky read, too.